02 – February 17, 2018
First things first, thank you for your interest in reading content at CFO Bookshelf.
1. What I’ve Been Reading
- The Power Broker is long. So it’s going to be in this section for several weeks. I had no idea who Robert Moses was and how he shaped New York’s cityscape. Moses didn’t just dream, he made his vision become a reality. In the Introduction, we learn that his idealism required power, personality, and position. Those terms take on special meaning when you learn that he never held elected office.
- I am still reading How to Take Smart Notes by Ahrens. I’ve only been reading one chapter a day. It’s jam-packed with wisdom and practical insights. It’s not just a book on how to take notes. I highly recommend.
- I’m now reading Future Ready by Steve Player for the second time. This time, I’m slowing down. I had a negative attitude reading it the first time. I was too arrogant the first time around because I thought there was nothing new for me to learn. Now, I’m asking myself new questions before I read each chapter. That’s a big help.
- I’m also reading one chapter a day of Practical Performance Measurement by Stacey Barr. It’s also my second time reading it. It’s long, and maybe too drawn out. I’d say this book is for the organization knowing nothing about the measurement process. Otherwise, it’s a bit tedious. However, there are practical chapters for those of us who have a strong awareness and acumen of the performance measurement process.
- Since I walk every night and spend a fair amount of time in the tank, the term for my F150, I’m always listening to one book. Currently, I’m listening to In the Hurricane’s Eye. I loved his book, In the Heart of the Sea. So this will not be my last Philbrook book. Two takeaways so far. First, the British were not inept. They were victims of bad circumstances. Finally, Washington and his troops needed the French and their navy to win the war.
2. What I’ve Finished Reading
I will soon be writing about Ken Iverson and his book, Plain Talk. Their workers had the lowest base pay, yet they made more money than anyone in the industry and their communities. Their small steel plants were also the highest producers in the world. What management consulting firms did they engage? What great business books put them on the right track? None. This book shows that when a leader and some willing followers have ideas that could work, anything can happen. Instructive and inspiring read.
I wrapped up A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. While the book may not be for everyone, I still loved it. As I neared the end, I found myself wanting it to keep going on. As financial leaders, we need to be reading autobiographies and great fiction. This book has inspired me to read at least one work of fiction each month.
3. What I’m Writing
I enjoyed writing about the CEO Genome’s CEO assessment this past week. I have a link to the test in the article which only takes five minutes to complete. In the article, I reveal my concerns about personality assessments. However, there’s one assessment I trust. It’s the Kolbe A™ Index. Every financial leader should take it (links are included in the post).
4. What I’m Watching
If I could visit with any person to talk business for one hour, it would be a toss-up between Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. CNBC’s Becky Quick interviewed Charlie and you can watch it here. I cracked up at about the 29-minute mark. If you want to hear Charlie’s comment in context, back up to 28:18 to hear the question. His answer, “About (age) 7,” is one for the ages.
On a side note, what does one give to another who loves to read and continually learn? My pick is Charlie’s Poor Charlie’s Almanack. Don’t even think of peeking inside before you wrap it. If you do, you’ll want to keep it.
5. What I’m Reading Beyond Books
When time permits, read the Bill and Melinda Gates 2019 Annual Letter. I like their second question regarding 2018. Was it what you expected? You might need to bookmark it to read at a later time. Reading/viewing time is 13 to 15 minutes.
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Take care and have a great week. Always keep learning.